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Members include Evil Jared Hasselhoff, bass; Jimmy Pop, vocals; D.J. Q-Ball, turntables; Lüpüs Thünder, guitar; Willie the New Guy, drums. Addresses: Record company--Geffen Records, 10900 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1230, Los Angeles, CA 90024 Phone: (310) 208-6547.
No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people--or their good taste. In fact, the Bloodhound Gang has made a pretty good living doing just that.
The Bloodhound Gang has been attacked for being sexist, racist, and homophobic--the full spectrum of offensiveness. Still, frontman Jimmy Pop--who told Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly that the band's music is "like if someone took a K-tel hits record with, like Culture Beat, Limp Bizkit, Juvenile, and Celine Dion songs, and took all the vocals off and put new, really dumb lyrics over the whole thing"--does not seem phased by all the negative attention. "Basically what we do in this band is just ourselves exaggerated," he told Greg Heller of Rolling Stone online. "I've been into doodie jokes since I was in kindergarten. It's me living my own life. I know that I'm not trying to be hurtful."
The band formed in 1993 in suburban Philadelphia, and the lineup included Pop and guitarist Lüpüs Thünder, plus several others. Initially the group came together to cover songs by Depeche Mode. They took the name Bloodhound Gang from a segment of a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television show called 3-2-1 Contact. "We thought it sounded tough, like Wu-Tang Clan," Pop told Teen People.
According to their self-penned biography--some of which can likely be taken with a grain of salt--they couldn't find work in any of the Philadelphia clubs, so the group contented themselves with playing house parties at Evil Jared Hasselhoff's house. Eventually they scored gigs at the New York club CBGB. Later, the Bloodhound Gang recorded demos with titles such as "Just Another Demo" and "The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Hitler's Handicapped Helpers." In 1994, they released the independent EP Dingleberry Haze. On the strength of that effort, Columbia Records signed them and released their debut album, Use Your Fingers, in 1995. But it was such a spectacular commercial flop that the rest of the band split, leaving Pop and Thünder to continue on.
Bassist Hasselhoff, a college friend of Pop's, came on board and brought with him drummer Spanky G (later replaced by Willie the New Guy). They also picked up turntablist D.J. Q-Ball. Suddenly a full-fledged band again, they recorded another album, One Fierce Beer Coaster, released on Republic Records in September of 1996. The album's lead single, "Fire Water Burn," which employs the age-old rap chant "The roof is on fire," quickly became a hit, and was for a time the most requested song on alternative rock radio (though only an edited version could be played on the public airwaves). A frenzied bidding war for the band's services ensued between several major record labels, and the group eventually signed with Geffen, which re-released One Fierce Beer Coaster late in 1996. As their record company biography puts it, "Suddenly the band went from being nobodies to being nobodies appearing on television with Howard Stern, Jenny McCarthy, and Riki Lake and partying with the likes of Corey Feldman, Kato Kaelin, and Larry "Bud" Melman." Following the success of One Fierce Beer Coaster, the Bloodhound Gang spent a good amount of time touring the world, and their records became hits in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway. "It's funny what offends people in different countries," Pop told Rolling Stone, seemingly keen to find out exactly what it takes in each case.
Four years passed between the release of One Fierce Beer Coaster and the group's next album, Hooray for Boobies, which was actually finished in 1998 but not released until 2000. Part of the delay was due to touring, but there was also a protracted legal hassle that slowed things down as well. The song "Right Turn Clyde" made unauthorized use of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)," and 300,000 copies of Hooray for Boobies which had already been manufactured had to be destroyed. Two days later, Pink Floyd changed their minds and let them use the song anyway.
Since the band more or less set out to offend everyone equally, Hooray for Boobies quickly met that goal. "The Bad Touch" became a huge hit single thanks to its insistent dance beat and can't-help-but-memorize-it chorus: "You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals/So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel." It wasn't the song, however, but the video--the Bloodhound Gang pride themselves in writing treatments for all of their music videos--which set off storms of protest. In one scene, which was eventually deleted from the clip, a pair of sailors who were holding hands are beaten by a baguette. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) made their displeasure known to the band and the media. "It's ridiculous that anyone had such a problem with that," Pop told Rolling Stone online. "You know there's like five or ten people that really give a sh** about it. The rest of the gays and lesbians could care less. We were hitting the guy with a baguette! How could that be misconstrued as gay bashing?"
All of the furor he has caused and the criticisms of his work don't bother Pop. "It's shocking that so many people around the world would have such bad taste," he says of the band's popularity. "It's validation for those of us who believe in the lowest common denominator.... Can you believe that a record company gives us a million dollars for twelve songs, and one of them is made on a Casio [keyboard] with lyrics about a stripper?" But even Pop seems to know that it can't last. There'll come a time, he admits, when even he will be tired of his own jokes and the sound of his own voice. "Our goal has always been to make fun records," he told Heller. "I would say that maybe at the most we can make two more records like this and then we'll be done. By that time we'll all be about thirty, and that's a good quitting time. If we keep going, we'll end up wanting to free Tibet or something."
by Daniel Durchholz
The Bloodhound Gang's Career
Formed in King of Prussia, PA, 1993; after releasing the independent Dingleberry Haze EP, the band signed to Columbia Records, 1994; released Use Your Fingers, 1995; released One Fierce Beer Coaster on Geffen Records, 1996; released Hooray for Boobies, 2000.
- Selected discography
- Dingleberry Haze (EP), Cheese Factory, 1994.
- Use Your Fingers , Underdog, 1995.
- One Fierce Beer Coaster , Republic, 1996; reissued, Geffen, 1996.
- Hooray for Boobies , Interscope, 2000.
- Entertainment Weekly, May 12, 2000.
- Rolling Stone, June 8, 2000.
- Teen People, August 2000.
- "Boobie Rap with the Bloodhound Gang," RollingStone.com, http://www.rollingstone.com (December 12, 2000).
- Additional information was provided by Geffen Records promotional materials.
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